As a result of the last newsletter (link), I received several wonderful notes. This one embodies them all.
I read your newsletter that you just recently sent out, in it you mentioned asking your heart what it needs. I did this and what I heard was my heart needs Love. So, the question I have is what do I do to give my heart Love?? Is it meditation, is it pouring down from Spirit, is it wearing rose quartz close to my heart? Just not sure what this looks or feels like. Any insight you have to offer is so appreciated.
Here is my short response:
And the answer is YES, all of the aforementioned. Also, simply asking Spirit for a hug when you need or want it. Doing the seemingly little things like not judging yourself for that dessert or sleeping in an extra few minutes. Accepting compliments with grace right into your heart. Taking time to thank your heart and your body for the daily things they do. Love comes in so many “little ways”. They add up more than the big things. And, of course, breathe in Love (from all around you including the Earth, not just above), and, breathe out chaos.
Let’s dive into this a little more deeply. In my personal journey and working with all of you over the years, I’ve looked at what love is, how to feel it, be it and receive it from every viewpoint possible. Love is truly the essence of life.
First of all, let’s look at why we don’t practice love? Why would we turn away from it or avoid it if it’s what our heart wants?
Our past traumas, including past life experiences, often block us from receiving love. We may not be aware of this and so we resist love at various levels of consciousness. If you grew up in an abusive household or a household where there was a lot of yelling or addiction, the message your heart gave you was that love is dangerous and can’t be trusted.
Your survival mechanism kicks in and sends a message to protect your heart, to block that joy because there may be a price to pay for it. In other words, receiving love feels vulnerable. When there has been unmanageable hurt in the past, the last thing we want to feel is exposed or weak.
Feeling love is not weak. It is the opposite of that wall of protection that we learned was the only safe love. It does take courage to let love in. Hopefully, we have learned to take in love without taking in all the pain that is not love.
We all carry some kind of old wound. Receiving love heals us and strengthens us. Studies show that love heals our bodies and our hearts. We know that it also refreshes our minds and calms our souls.
Simple Everyday Practices
Let’s explore a few acts and practices of love that are easy and feel safe. We have opportunities every day to receive and give love. I offer a few that you’ll surely recognize as already being part of your life.
~ Our furry, feathered and scaled friends offer us unconditional love. They don’t care about our past or our shame. They love us and want us to be happy.
~ A good hair cut or doing our laundry or cleaning out the car can help us feel better about ourselves. That is self love.
~ When we can take in a compliment and feel it without dismissing it, that too is love.
~ Remember the last time someone opened a door for you? How often have we smiled at a stranger just because it felt right? And that person smiled back. We both walked on feeling better. These are forms of unconditional love. Are you stopping, just for a second to acknowledge that for yourself?
~ My lovely neighbors have a table and chairs on their front patio. They sit out there to read. Really, they sit out on their patio so that they can wave at people who drive by and say hello to the walkers and passersby. I have been told that if they are not there for a few days, people miss them. Of course! That simple exchange is an act of love with no strings or expectations. It is easy to receive and return.
~ Mother Nature is all about love. Feeling the sun on our faces, seeing the turning of the leaves on trees or the flowers blossoming in the spring, and gazing endlessly at water. These are all healing. In these moments we are receiving unconditional love. Of course, it helps if you leave the cell phone in the car, so you can actually experience the love of Nature.
Weather permitting, I take a walk around the yard, talk with the plants, trees and little critters. I am in gratitude for all they bring to my life. Often the cats join me on this walk about and entertain me with their antics. By the time we get back to the house, I am calmer and actually feel rested. We all feel better.
~ Gratitude is another form of receiving love. When we’re expressing true gratitude, we feel it in our hearts, and it is as healing for us as for the recipient of our appreciation. There is a practice of saying 5 to 10 gratitudes before you go sleep. This simple exercise calms the mind and the heart and allows us to go into slumber feeling the goodness of the day. This is taking in love.
~ Love comes through music. There are so many elements at work in music that bring us love. Music can bring tears of joy and sadness at the same time. It sparks memories that come to mind to be revisited and healed. We may break into dance or song or both. We smile. We are always healed in some way by music.
~ In many families, food is love. My grandparents and parents came through the depression, so Sunday dinner was a huge celebration of love, gratitude and abundance. Yes, traditionally the women cooked together and talked about the things that were important to them, while the men waited patiently, being ever so conscious to come in and tell us how good things smelled and that they couldn’t wait for the turkey or the roast or the mashed potatoes. They were showing us their love for our work and the love we put into preparing the food. And then we sat and said grace, being thankful for the food. And finally, with great joy, we passed the food around —the life force and love that we were about to take in. We felt the love and the security of enough food and the joy and closeness of family around the table.
Even today, we get together over food and drink and we go home satiated, filled with love, joy and a sense of well-being and love. Aware of both the friendship and healing we took into our bodies.
~ Oh, and my favorite, laughter! Who cannot take in love while laughing? A long time ago, I made a formal announcement aloud to myself and Spirit during meditation that I wanted to have a good belly laugh every day. And I did that day and still do almost every day. If not a big belly laugh, I have several good giggles – still healing and feeling the love. If I want, there is always comedy on YouTube. I have my favorite comedians who are always good for a chuckle. I go to bed feeling the healing (taking in the love) of laughter.
~ Recognition that you are breathing in love is an act of love, itself. We thrive on this. We heal with this. We are energized better than a cup of coffee. We get through our crazy days by breathing in love that is coming in from all around us.
You Are Already Giving Yourself More Love
Take just one day and write down all the ways that you felt joy (love), happiness (love), safety (love), satisfied (love), peaceful (love) and appreciated (love).
Truly take in the appreciation for a success in your day or another’s, a clean kitchen, a finished project, taking care of one small thing that has been bugging you. The moment you stop and feel the joy of the moment, you are taking in love, self love and the love of the Universe. In doing that, your heart will be filled in ways you didn’t know possible.
May your hearts be filled with love every day in every way.
(Did you receive that message of love?)